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ELISHAH ī lī’ shə (אֱלִישָׁ֣ה, God saves). A son of Javan and progenitor of the Japhetic nation which bears his name (Gen 10:4; 1 Chron 1:7; Ezek 27:7). Since Javan is the Heb. word for the Greeks, Elishah is to be associated with them. It is associated with islands or coastlands (Gen 10:4, 5; Ezek 27:7). Ezekiel speaks of the islands of Elishah which supplied purple dyes to the Tyrians. Its association with Greece and Kittim (Cyprus), would seem to indicate a location in the area of the N Mediterranean. Josephus identified them with the Aeolians, an ancient people of Gr. stock. Some have identified it with Carthage, a nation in N Africa, because of the similarity between Elishah and Elissa, the latter being, according to tradition, a Tyrian princess who founded Carthage. Most prob. Elishah refers to the inhabitants of the islands of the Aegean Sea. Its close association with Javan and its dye industry, which would necessitate close proximity to the sea, seem to support this identification.

Article 2

ELISHAH (ē-lī’sha, Heb. ‘ělîshâh, God saves). The eldest son of Javan, grandson of Noah and founder of a tribal family (Gen.10.4; 1Chr.1.7). The land from which Tyre got its purple dye (Ezek.27.7); somewhere around the Mediterranean (South Italy, North Africa, or Greece), but not yet identified.

Article 3

(’elishah, "God saves"; Elisa, Eleisai):

Mentioned in Ge 10:4 as the eldest son of Javan, and in Eze 27:7 as the source from which the Tyrians obtained their purple dyes. On the ground of this latter statement attempts have been made to identify it with Southern Italy or the north of Africa. Josephus (Ant., I, vi, 1) identified Elisha with the Aeolians. The Targum on Ezekiel gives "the province of Italy." Other suggestions include Hellas, Ells, and Alsa; the last named is a kingdom mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna Letters, but its precise location is unknown. It is impossible as yet to claim certainty for any of these conjectures.

Article 4

The oldest of the four sons of Javan (Gen. 10:4), whose descendants peopled Greece. It has been supposed that Elishah’s descendants peopled the Peloponnesus, which was known by the name of Elis. This may be meant by “the isles of Elishah” (Ezek. 27:7).

Article 5

(God is salvation), the eldest son of Javan. (Genesis 10:4) The residence of his descendants is described in (Ezekiel 27:7) as the isles of Elishah, whence the Phoenicians obtained their purple and blue dyes. Some connect the race of Elishah with the AEolians, others with Elishah, and in a more extended sense Peloponnesus, or even Hellas.